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Ruff sets re-election bid, earns primary race with newcomer

SoVaNow.com / March 14, 2019

State Sen. Frank Ruff announced Tuesday he has filed as a candidate in the June 11 Republican primary for the 15th Senate District seat, submitting signatures of about 700 qualified voters.

On Wednesday, Ruff gained competition — with Chase City-area resident Matthew Kelly announcing he would run for the GOP nomination in the June primary.

Kelly, a political newcomer, said he was running on a platform of “Legalize Freedom.”

“There are very few areas of life that are not regulated, taxed, or flat out prohibited. From what you eat, to how you defend your family, to how you educate your children, freedom has become increasingly illegal,” Kelly stated in his announcement.

In the kickoff of his re-election campaign, Ruff stressed the value of incumbency and said he is looking forward to continuing his service at the Capital.

“It has been the honor of my life to represent Southside in the General Assembly,” said Ruff in his re-election announcement. “There is more work to do in Richmond to improve workforce development initiatives, create good paying jobs, and stand up for our traditional values in Southside. I am proud of my record and would like to formally announce my candidacy for re-election to the Virginia Senate.”

The 15th Senate District encompasses central and Southside Virginia counties, including the eastern half of Halifax. Western Halifax County is represented in the state Senate by GOP lawmaker Bill Stanley of Rocky Mount, who also announced his bid for re-election this week.

The filing deadline for the June party primary is March 28.

Ruff and his wife, Jessie, a retired teacher, live in Clarksville. He serves as the chairman of the Senate Committee on General Laws and Technology, as a budget conferee, and heads the subcommittee of Senate Finance that deals with economic development, agriculture, and natural resources.

Ruff was first elected to the Senate in 2000 after previously serving in the House of Delegates. He is seeking a sixth Senate term.

Kelly lives outside of Chase City with his wife and their three children. They attend Grace Baptist Temple in Blackstone.

In his announcement, Kelly gave information on his background: his family moved to Crewe in 2000 where he was home schooled before first attending SVCC, then transferring to Western Governor’s University where he is currently pursuing a degree in Cyber Security.

He has worked various IT positions across the state, most recently at the Microsoft datacenter in Boydton. In his announcement, Kelly wrote, “Rather than just complain about government’s failures I would like to ...

1: Reduce restrictions on food producers in Virginia, including supporting Cottage Food laws.

2: Reduce restrictions on legal gun owners by supporting Constitutional Carry laws.

3: Reduce restrictions on home educators by addressing the legal hurdles/permits currently required.

4: Supporting the Convention of States, looking to impose term limits and balanced budget requirements through Federal Constitutional amendments.

The November general election will feature balloting for all 140 seats in the House of Delegates and Virginia State Senate.



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Think I will vote for the new guy just to protest! I like what he says. Frank take notice!


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